I hate long meetings (well, I hate meetings generally speaking). Those eternal gatherings to discuss and discuss forever what was already agreed because nobody prepared the assembly or had in mind why we were there.

Here are some bullet points on how to short them and make them more productive:

  • Send first a list of items to discuss.
  • Make timeboxed meetings. Leverage the Parkinson laws. Try to commit to no more than 45 minutes per session. The last 15 minutes are used to agreeing decisions.
  • Warn that the end is approaching. When in a hurry everyone is going to summarize their position and try to get to the point instead of discussing banalities.
  • Conclude with the agreed points.
  • Let your people know that they must come prepared to meetings. They must review the points and get ready the items they were assigned to.

Is it worth an eight person meeting where only two of them talk? How much does a three hour session cost if multiplied that time by the cost per person? Which one is the cost per month of the monthly meetings in the team? I am sure our colleagues would be better working on other tasks than listening to the HYPPO.